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Government announces £15bn road improvements

  • Significant investment in UK’s road system
  • Upgrades to 1,300 miles of carriageway
  • Will help reduce journey time and congestion

Written by Liam Campbell Published: 1 December 2014 Updated: 1 December 2014

The government is expected to announce plans of the largest road redevelopment scheme since the 1970s in its autumn statement later this week.

In a move set to pave the way for a spate of roadworks across the nation, the £15bn masterplan will see 1,300 miles of roads upgraded across 100 locations, with spending set to triple from its current level before the end of the decade. 

The government says the developments aim to improve the flow of traffic, reducing congestion and travel time for road users as well as the condition of the roads themselves. Among the key areas for improvement are the A303 in Wiltshire, the A27 along the south coast, access to and from Liverpool and the A1 in the North East.

“Today I am setting out the biggest, boldest and most far-reaching roads programme for decades. It will dramatically improve our road network and unlock Britain’s economic potential”, announced Transport Secretary Patrick McLaughlin.

South West

The long rumoured Stonehenge tunnel will be built underneath the ancient structure and the region will also see the A303 from Basingstoke to Honiton and the A358 from Williton to Axmouth made entirely dual carriageway.

North East

The A1 is to be made a dual carriageway all the way from London to Ellingham, which is just a couple of miles from the Scottish border.

North West

Access to the Port of Liverpool is to be made easier with further upgrades and widening of city centre roads. An extra lane is to be added on the M62 from Manchester to Leeds, and there will be better links between Manchester and Sheffield.

Midlands and Eastern England

The M42, which runs along the eastern side of Birmingham, is to be upgraded to offer better connections to the NEC Arena, the Enterprise Zone and the planned HS2 railway station.

Travelling east is to be made easier thanks to an upgraded A47. The road is to be made dual carriageway throughout, from the A1 right across to Norwich.

South East and London

Residents of Lewes, Worthing and Arundel will be relieved that the A27 will be improved in the area, which is often heavily congested. Around 10 of the 33 junctions on the M25 are also to be upgraded.

Better roads means better economy

“World class infrastructure is vital if we are to build a stronger economy, but it matters in other ways to. It invigorates communities and gives people more opportunities to get on in life”, said Chair of the Cabinet Infrastructure Committee and Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander.

“This is why I have ensured that this government has prioritised funding roads, and railways, at a high level for future generations”. There’s no doubting that the plans will be welcomed by the vast majority of motorists in the UK, who could save millions of pounds of fuel costs as well as time, but it remains to be seen when the new roads will arrive, if indeed, at all.